The most common question I get from people is “Can an iPad Pro replace a laptop?” Short answer: in most cases it can, and it’s not as scary as you think.
After using the
for sometimes now, I wanted to share some of the reasons I think it could replace a computer and some of the reasons iPad Pro can’t replace a computer at least for me.
Before we dive into it, it is important to note here that to consider an iPad Pro as a replacement for a computer or laptop, you need to get the Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio or any other iPad Pro keyboard accessory. I bought the
Smart keyboard Folio
for my 12.9-inch iPad Pro with Wi-Fi + Cellular.
Why I Choose the Smart keyboard Folio for the iPad Pro!
Ever since Apple announced their new line of iPad Pros, I kept wondering if I could get rid of my MacBook and only rely on an iPad and a keyboard cover.
iPad Pro appeared like the perfect device for me: it’s very portable, it has a stunning display, and the touch interface just makes it enjoyable to use.
The iPad Pro also seemed to be higher than macOS in Apple’s priorities. Apple seemed firmly convinced that the iPad could replace a laptop, and a lot of effort was put into software and updates to make this a reality.
That’s exciting, given that macOS lags far much behind in terms of innovations and integrations.
While switching to the iPad Pro was a bold move a couple of years ago, it’s now easier than ever to make the switch considering all the improvements Apple has made to iOS now iPadOS.
Having said that, switching entirely to the iPad from a laptop or even a desktop computer can be a tricky decision to make. So here are a couple of things you may want to know before deciding whether or not the
would be a appropriate computing device for you.
The iPad Pro is Powerful Enough
I’m not going to quote Apple on this, stating the iPad is more powerful than 90% of the laptops on the market. I not sure if it’s true, and I don’t think it matters.
I have never been able to push my 12.9 inch iPad Pro to its limits. Maybe I don’t have the most intensive workflow of all, but I’m sure I use my iPad pretty thoroughly. I browse the internet, I write a lot, I manage social media, I edit pictures on Lightroom, I edit 4K videos on Lumafusion, I create designs on Canva and Photoshop etc.
Sure, some people push it further, but the question is, will you need to?
My iPad can perform some of these tasks better than my 2019 MacBook Pro. For instance, the video editing experience is much smoother on the iPad than on my MacBook. In addition, I don’t have to deal with the noise the fan of my Mac would make, which worries me since it gives me the impression than I am slowly killing my laptop.
File Management on the iPad Pro
Managing files and storage on the iPad Pro is better than ever. Files has always been a lighter version of Finder, but we now have a more capable interface, and that looks a lot better than it used to be. Moving, copying, and pasting files is very similar to using Finder on Mac. I still find the process a bit more extensive than on a laptop, but the iPad is quite capable of managing files.
The harddrive support works quite well. Again, managing files isn’t as practical as on a Mac, but it’s enough, and with a bit of practice, you won’t feel any difference at all.
The iPad Apps
There is an app for pretty much everything on the iPad, and chances are, most of the tools you use on a daily basis have an iPad version on the AppStore.
For anything web-based, the iPad should work just fine, as it now displays the desktop version of websites by default. So even if the iPad app is limited, you can still take advantage of the web version of the tools you use, and you should be fine this way.
The only task that I absolutely couldn’t get my iPad to do with either the iPad app or the website version of it was Squarespace. I can entirely edit my WordPress websites using Safari, but for some reason, I’m unable to edit some parts of my Squarespace website on either the app or Safari.
The Limitations of the iPad Pro
Although the iPad Pro appears like a perfect device, it has a few downsides.
Besides the limitations I pointed out above, most pro apps don’t have an iPad version. So Logic, Final Cut, Adobe Premiere aren’t compatible with the iPad at all.
There are some alternatives, but they aren’t as great and flexible as the original pro apps.
These alternatives are just enough for most people. But it also means that you have to learn an entirely new program to perform these tasks that you were so used to do before. Learning how to use Lumafusion properly, for instance, took me a few hours and made me scratch my head a bit. It’s a fantastic piece of software, and I’d say that you can get quite striking results with it. But it’s a lot more limited than Final Cut, and you may get discouraged not being able to edit your videos as freely as on a more professional tool.
So can an iPad Pro replace a MacBook?
I belief the iPad Pro can be a laptop replacement for many users, but at the same time, it can’t for some. It really depends on your use cases. The iPad is a perfect choice for people who are looking for a simple machine that they can bring with them wherever. If you are a real pro, and need a device that can handle powerful tasks such as thousands of RAW images and complex file management system, then the iPad Pro might not be the right choice. But if you are a creative that needs something flexible, capable, and enjoyable to use, the iPad is a lot better than a Mac, in my opinion.
If you are on the fence and looking to make a decision on whether you want to buy an iPad Pro as a computer replacement then please don’t hesitate to drop me a line in the comments if you have any questions and I’ll answer them